Written by: Iftikhar Muhammad Khan Buzdar
What is Islam? It’s a religion that teaches us to live peacefully among all kinds of races. It gives Non-Muslims an equal right to practice their religions without any sort of discrimination.
Blasphemy is defined in section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code in the following words: “Use of derogatory remarks, etc. in respect of the Holy Prophet p.b.u.h. by word, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by importation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiling the sacred name of the Holy Prophet p.b.u.h. and shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life, and shall be liable to find . . .”
This concept of blasphemy and the prescribed punishment are both contradictory to the Qur’an and the Prophet’s conduct. The Qur’an prescribes restraint, and distancing from the blasphemous persons or situations. The emphasis is on restraint and forgiveness. A study of the following verses should bear this out:
“When ye hear the signs of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, ye are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme.” [Qur’an 4:140]
“And when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: “to us our deeds and to you yours; peace be to you.” [Qur’an 28: 55]
“Hold to forgiveness, command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant.” [Qur’an 7:199]
“Have patience with what they say, and leaves them with noble (dignity).” [Qur’an 73:10]
“And the servants of Allah . . . are those who walked on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say ‘Peace'” [Qur’an 25:63]
“Allah is with those who restrain themselves.” [Qur’an 16: 128]
“. . . But they uttered blasphemy . . . if they repent, it will be best for them, but if they turn back, Allah will punish them.” [Qur’an 9:47]
I have been able to identify fifty-seven more verses having a direct bearing on the subject and more than 250 others which emphasize forgiveness, forbearance and compassion.
In his lifetime, the Holy Prophet p.b.u.h. was subjected to verbal and physical humiliation. He narrowly escaped assassination by migrating to Medina. He was accused of forgery ” . . . nay, he forged it.” [Qur’an 21:5], was stigmatized as a man ‘possessed’ [Qur’an 23:70] and ‘mad’ [Qur’an 68:2]. His personal reaction, as also the reaction of all his devoted Companions, while both in and out of power, was impeccable adherence to the Quranic teachings. One of his regular tormentors, a woman (wife of Abu Lahab) once had to break the daily ritual on account of ill health. In obedience to the Quranic injunctions, he called on her to offer his services in her household chores.
The Qur’an set strict limits on punishment for any and every crime. The honourable minister being a lawyer by profession must have knowledge of the Quranic position on crime and punishment. Here are just a few verses for his consideration:
“And if you punished, let your punishment be proportionate to the wrong that has been done to you; but if you show patience, that is indeed the best course. [Qur’an 16:126]
“The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto: but if a person forgets and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah.” [Qur’an 62:40]
“Twice will they be given their reward, for that they have persevered, (and) they avert evil with good.” [Qur’an 28:54
Today, Mashal Khan, a journalism student, was stripped, beaten, shot, and thrown from the second floor of his hostel at the Abdul Wali Khan university in Mardan. Is this what our religion has taught us? Is this what the Quran is full of? Is this what the Prophet emphasised on? The Holy Prophet. P.B.U.H himself never killed a man for not following him, for not believing in what he taught. He was beaten up by a mob, they threw stones at him. He was full of blood, but what he did in return was that he prayed for the them, he prayed to God, to show them the right path. Why didn’t he do the same as the mob did? Because he was peace loving, he showed us the basis of Islam, the true side of Islam.
Today a young man was beaten by a mob for not agreeing with them on Islamic beliefs. He was brutally beaten up till he died. A painful death. This isn’t what Islam taught us. It taught us tolerance and peace. It taught us to respect the views of other people. What are we doing?
Muhammad (SAW) did not kill the women who threw garbage on him. He did not kill the woman who said there is a magician in the village and he is creating chaos in houses. What kind of love with Muhammad (SAW) is this? This is not love this is hatred. These people do not reflect our religion, they are not peaceful, they are not loving, they are full of hatred. They should be punished as all of them are equally responsible for killing that innocent life, who are they to take his life when only God can do that? Strict actions should be taken against The Jamiat and all the personal who are linked to this system. All those religious germs who promote black law of blasphemy are the culprits.This needs to come to an end. They should be trialed in court and should be punished according to laws of killing a person.